SAN JOSE – In his words, injured Sharks forward Raffi Torres can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Speaking to reporters for the first time since his latest surgery, Torres said he’s preparing on being ready to go for the 2015-16 training camp. The 33-year-old has had numerous right knee operations since tearing his ACL in a preseason game on Sep. 26, 2013, including another about two weeks ago, when his ligament was replaced with that of a cadaver for the third time in his career.
“This will give me the best opportunity to keep playing and to come back, and hopefully everything is behind me,” Torres said.
[RELATED: Sharks' Torres undergoes another surgery, new timetable set]
Torres originally planned to try and return this season without the ACL altogether. It was removed in the offseason, after numerous infections following the 2013-14 season.
That didn’t work, though. Torres was spotted skating lightly several months ago, but was only going at about “30 percent,” he said.
Rather than go under the knife again right away, Torres and his surgeon, Dr. Joel Boyd, decided the best course of action was to make sure there was no risk of further infection. The infections last summer forced Torres to endure months of being “on my back and just in pain every day” shortly last spring’s playoff loss to the Kings.
Torres said that now, everything is back on track. He will remain on crutches for another month.
“In terms of all those little aches and pains I was feeling going into surgery, everything feels great right now,” he said. “I know it’s the third time around with rehab and stuff like that, but like I said, I see the light at the end of the tunnel now.”
“I feel refreshed. I’m on track right now where I know what I have to do in order to be successful to stay in the league and to help this team out.”
Torres has one year left on a three-year, $6 million deal signed on June 20, 2013. He has played in just five regular season games and seven playoff games since the start of the 2013-14 season.